Arizona School of Health Sciences
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Physical Therapy

Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy

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Course Description

Here are the course descriptions for every course included in the tDPT curriculum. Please note that each student has an individualized academic degree plan so students do not take every course listed below.

PT801 Neuromuscular Physical Therapy (3 credits): This course is designed to update the practicing physical therapist in current theory and issues underlying assessment and treatment of the adult patient with neurological injury/disease. Principles of motor control and motor learning will be studied. Normal postural control will also be covered. Current principles, tools, and strategies for assessment and treatment of impairments and functional limitations for individuals with specific neurological diagnoses will be covered, including pathologies of brain injury/disease, spinal cord injury/disease, vestibular pathology, Parkinsons Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Guillain-Barre Syndrome and Post-Polio Syndrome

PT802 Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy (3 credits): This course includes an updated study of normal and abnormal structures and function of the musculoskeletal system and pathological alterations of structure and function including diagnostic tests and measurements.  This course discusses changes in treatment philosophy in recent years as well as relevant tests and measures for determining impairment and differentiating the diagnosis based on the specificity and sensitivity of the assessment instrument(s) as related to patients with musculoskeletal disorders. Topics will focus on analyzing and comparing contemporary and traditional interventions and the impact of evolving technology in this area including comparing contemporary and traditional rehabilitation interventions with current medical-surgical management of patients.

PT803 Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy (3 credits): This course includes a study of normal and abnormal structures and function of the cardiovascular, pulmonary, and lymphatic systems.  Pathological alterations of structure and function including current diagnostic tests and measurements are included.  This course discusses relevant tests and measures for determining impairment and differentiating the diagnosis based on the specificity and sensitivity of the assessment instrument(s) as related to patients with cardiovascular and pulmonary disorders.  The use of evidence-based physical therapy interventions for cardiovascular and pulmonary conditions is emphasized.  Topics will focus on analyzing and comparing contemporary and traditional interventions and the impact of evolving technology in this area.

PT804 Integumentary Physical Therapy (2 credits): This course includes a study of normal and abnormal structures and function of the integumentary system and pathological alterations of structure and function including diagnostic tests and measurements.  This course discusses the updated philosophy of physical therapy interventions for integumentary conditions.  Topics will focus on analyzing and comparing contemporary and traditional interventions and the impact of evolving technology.

PT806 Pharmacology (3 credits): This class is a study of basic pharmacological concepts as applied to physical therapy patient management. The major classes of drugs seen in physical therapy practice settings are covered. Application of pharmacology concepts to the practice of physical therapy will also be included.  

PT807 Radiology and Imaging (3 credits): This course includes the study of the common diagnostic and therapeutic imaging studies such as radiographs, CAT, MRI, and musculoskeletal imaging. Students will become aware of the indications and implications of commonly used diagnostic imaging tests as they pertain to patient/client management.

PT818 Professional Practice (3 credits): This course begins with a study of the history of the physical therapy profession and the American Physical Therapy Association. The course also includes information on the elements of Vision 2020 including: Doctor of Physical Therapy, Professionalism, Autonomy, Direct Access, Evidence-Based Practice, and Practitioner of Choice. Other topics in this course include: The Five Roles of The Physical Therapist; Ethics; Professional Development, Competence, and Expertise; Patient-Centered Care; and Social Justice Issues.

PT819 Differential Diagnosis and Screening for Medical Conditions (3 credits): This course reviews information related to differential diagnosis of the major body systems including cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematological, gastrointestinal, renal and urinary, hepatic and biliary, endocrine, and immune systems.  In addition, the student will be introduced to the concept of differential screening in physical therapy and an in-depth analysis of the interviewing process. This course is taught with the assumption that physical therapists function in an environment of direct access to physical therapy services.

PT825 Extremity Manual Therapy (3 credits): This course covers the theory and techniques of manual therapeutics as applied to the upper and lower extremities. This course covers clinical case presentations, theory and use of mobilization techniques, and online lab demonstrations on performing joint mobilization of all the extremity joints

PT826 Spinal Manual Therapy (3 credits): This course covers the theory and application of evaluation and treatment techniques to spinal conditions.  Included in this course will be evaluation and treatment of spinal dysfunctions, spinal manual therapeutics, and spinal stabilization exercises. 

PT828 Pediatric Physical Therapy (3 credits): This course covers the topics of normal and abnormal motor development; clinical assessment, clinical reasoning, and evidence-based practice in pediatrics; medical management of spasticity in children, pediatric disorders including cerebral palsy, myelodysplasia, Down Syndrome, muscular dystrophy, developmental coordination disorder, brachial plexus injuries, congenital muscular torticollis, various orthopedic disorders, childhood sports injuries; important factors in lower extremity bracing, assistive technology in pediatrics, adults with developmental disabilities, and fitness issues in children with and without special needs.

PT830 Geriatrics (2 credits): This course discusses relevant tests and measures for determining impairment and differentiating the diagnosis based on the specificity and sensitivity of the assessment instrument(s) as related to patients with geriatric disorders.  The use of evidence-based physical therapy interventions for geriatric conditions will be emphasized.  Topics will focus on analyzing and comparing contemporary and traditional interventions and the impact of evolving technology in this area.

PT831 Gender Healthcare in Physical Therapy (2 credits): The course discusses gender-specific health care issues including care and treatment of pelvic pain, incontinence, female athlete triad, testicular cancer, menopause, osteoporosis, prostate disease, pre and post-partum exercise, breast health and lymphedema.  Topics will focus on analyzing and comparing contemporary and traditional interventions and the impact of evolving knowledge in this area.

PT838 Capstone Project (3 credits): The terminal project is an integration of the many course experiences the student has been exposed during their matriculation as a student. The terminal project provides each student with an opportunity to demonstrate his or her knowledge and skills in an Evidence-in-Practice project or a reliability study. The final product for the course is a manuscript, which is scrutinized in the same fashion as a submission of manuscript to a journal. This is the final course taken in our curriculum. Prerequisite: HP808 Statistics, HP809 Quantitative Research, HP811 Evidence Based Practice I and HP812 Evidence Based Practice II.

Health Professions Course Descriptions (Multi-Disciplinary Courses)

Health Professions Course Descriptions (Multi-Disciplinary Courses)

HP805 tDPT Foundations (1 credit): This course provides detailed instructions on the use of the Blackboard Campus Edition® course platform, and an introduction to academic scholarly writing with proper APA formatting, including referencing/citation. An introduction to online literature searches using various medical databases is also taught in this course. This course is a prerequisite to all other courses in our program.

HP808 Statistics (3 credits): The statistics introduced in this course are the common descriptive statistics found in the health care literature. This course covers the basic knowledge necessary for understanding and interpreting basic statistics. Basic statistics including central tendency, probability, percentile ranks, confidence intervals, and interpretation of results are covered in this course.

HP809 Quantitative Research Methods and Designs (3 credits): This course includes discussion on basic quantitative methods and designs, including concepts of reliability and validity, interpretation of inferential statistics related to research designs, correlational statistics & designs, intraclass correlation coefficients, and critical appraisal of the literature. Prerequisite: HP808 Statistics.

HP811 Evidence-Based Practice in Physical Therapy I (2 credits): Evidence-based, clinical decision-making skills are covered in this course including locating and accessing sources of evidence, evaluating levels of evidence, applying evidence to clinical practice and integrating evidence, patient values and preferences and clinical experiences. This course is designed to provide the practicing therapist with knowledge and skills in critical inquiry including review and analysis of articles and writings in professional and medical journals and books. Literature review and data collection methods for professional literature will be included. Introduction to theory and use of evidence-based research in health care is discussed. Basic theories and practices of evidence-based practice will be applied to both acute and rehabilitation settings. Current health care research findings will be applied to diagnoses and interventions common to physical therapists. Participants will incorporate prior experience and knowledge in applying this topic to the delivery of physical therapy services in diverse settings. Students learn skills to locate and organize evidence using research databases.

HP812 Evidence-Based Practice II (3 credits): Outcome measures relating to functional disability, general health status, and patient/client satisfaction used to assess and guide rehabilitation management are studied in this course.  The importance of key measurement properties (reliability, validity, responsiveness) of outcome measurement tools and strategies to assess and select appropriate scales for clinical practice will be studied.  Application of outcome data to clinical and management decisions will be emphasized. Prerequisite: HP808 Statistics, HP809 Quantitative Research and HP811 Evidence Based Practice I.

HP813 Educational Theory and Practices (2 credits): Teaching and learning theory, including discussions of teaching and learning as it applies to patients, clinical experiences, and formal educational settings are discussed.  Evaluation and program development of educational components of practice are covered.

HP814 Issues in Diverse Populations and Settings (3 credits): Communication and cultural competencies, including principles of professional communication of cultural competencies, conflict resolution, negotiation skills, networking, and awareness of cultural differences are studied in this course. Students will study practice settings and patient/client groups from diverse populations, rural, and urban settings for their impact on healthcare.

HP815 Health and Wellness (2 credits): This course includes discussion on the theories of health and wellness, including motivational theory, locus of control, public health initiatives, and psychosocial, spiritual, and cultural considerations.  Health risks, screening, and assessment considering epidemiological principles are emphasized.  Risk reduction strategies for primary and secondary prevention, including programs for special populations are covered. The role of the physical therapist in prevention and wellness is stressed

HP834 Delivery Systems, Legislation and Regulation (2 credits): This course includes discussion of delivery systems, legislation, and regulation, including measuring access to and outcomes of different healthcare delivery models, public health policy, political systems, reimbursement models, ethical issues, and advocacy to improve healthcare policy.

HP835 Reimbursement Systems, Issues, and Strategies (2 credits): This course offers an introduction to provider reimbursement, focusing on criteria for establishing internal systems that meet governmental expectations regarding Medicare compliance, HIPAA anti-fraud regulations and Stark rules. Students will briefly survey the history of managed care and learn about the current managed care landscape. Students will also be introduced to the basic auditing practices and procedural guidelines for billing Medicare

HP836 Business Planning (2 credits): This course includes discussions on business planning, including strategic planning, financial management, personnel management, and physical resource management as it relates to the healthcare industry. A focus on the physical therapist as a professional corporation will be included.